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Reality check for Knights fans: Newcastle are nowhere near premiership contenders

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Roar Guru
3rd January, 2022
19

At the start of every year, I tend to see posts on Knights fans pages about how it’s our year.

I get the idea of high hopes and wishful thinking, but as harsh as this sounds, we are nowhere near premiership contenders yet.

I even have made some claims about us being a top-four team and I remember back in 2018, I said we would win the competition in 2021, so I guess I was wrong.

I do take full responsibility for being a protagonist with the wishful thinking.

A lot of blue-pill fantasy wishing for us Knights fans isn’t exactly unhealthy because it gives us hope. Hope is a great thing.

Realistically, we don’t have what it takes to compete with the top teams at this current point in time.

Will we one day? We will.

When? I don’t know.

Do I believe we will make the finals? Absolutely, but I can’t see us winning the big one this year.

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Believe it or not, I actually want to be wrong but our chances of winning the 2022 premiership exist just as much as Jackie Chan’s stunt double.

Jacob Saifiti

(Photo by Ashley Feder/Getty Images)

I know a lot of Knights fans will be pissed off reading this and I’ll take all the heat for it.

We have the team that is good enough to play in the NRL, we have a great coaching staff on the rise and even some of our old boys can teach our young lads about the Newcastle winning culture.

The depth we have is quite good and in just about every position, we have back-up players to come up if needed. They will be able to do so in their respective positions.

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While I won’t deny losing Mitchell Pearce and Connor Watson is a massive blow, we have up-and-coming halves who can be brilliant for our team and a few utility players like Kurt Mann who can be a valuable asset.

Connor Watson and Kurt Mann both have great playmaking abilities but Mann’s got perhaps the best torpedo bomb in the game.

One thing I do see is the one Knights player our fans just have to hate because it’s popular. Well, not all our fans but the ones who tend to say he’s not a quality NRL standard player.

Now riddle me this, how do you know who is a classified NRL standard player if you never played in the NRL or coached in the NRL?

Adam O’Brien has got better qualifications to coach at that level than I do so I trust his judgment.

Adam O'Brien

(Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

Andrew Johns is back home and he can teach our halves some valuable lessons, which will benefit them.

He has played 249 more games at first grade level than just about everyone who is reading this article.

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We aren’t near premiership contenders but we’re not rebuilding anymore, that stage is all said and done.

I have seen some signs of the Newcastle winning culture for our team last season and even in the 2019 and 2020 seasons.

With most of our losses last year, we fought to the death but came up short and even in some of our close wins, we fought just as much and came away with the desired result we wanted: a win.

I stand by saying I want to be wrong about us not being premiership contenders this year. I would love for us to win the grand final but we’re still a long way off.

Roarers, what do you think? Are the Knights potential contenders or do they have work left to do?

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